Why should children learn to lose?

Losing and moving on from it is part of life. It is a lesson that children should learn from an early age. They cannot cope with failure without the support of their parents. If you are a new parent, you probably have let your child win games to make them happy. But sometimes, your child should taste the pain of losing. You may ask, “Why should children learn to lose?” 

Failures are a natural aspect of life. And losing games prepares your children to face the failures they may encounter in the future. It also teaches them empathy. Interestingly, losing can develop self-control and self-confidence in children. 

I will elaborate on why children should face loss and learn to accept it in this article. As a loving parent, you may not like seeing your child upset, but eventually, you will understand the importance of losing. So, I will also give you some advice on how to teach children to lose gracefully. 

Why Should Children Learn To Lose? 

Every parent has at least once let their children win a game intentionally. You probably have slowed down to let your child win the race or made mistakes intentionally in board games for them to win. While you may think you are making them happy, you are actually keeping them from feeling sad. 

But they will face failure and heartbreak in their life. And without prior experience of losing, they might take it a bit harder than they should. Therefore, your child must learn to lose from an early age and accept it. 

Children do not have the logic or patience to face failure like adults. So, parents often let them do what they want to avoid managing their tantrums, which is another mistake. Your child will start to whine and force others to let them win, even outside the house. They will have a hard time accepting their failure. 

Children learn valuable skills from their failures that will be useful for their lives. Here is want your children will learn from accepting failure: 

1. Coping Skills

Kids who have experienced losing at home can easily cope with losing at a playground in front of others. No matter how old your child is, do not let them always win in the games you are playing together. 

Obviously, they will get upset, cry, or throw a tantrum because no one wants to lose, right? But you should let them cope with the feeling of failure. You can even teach them various coping mechanisms like screaming into a pillow or popping bubble wraps. Check out This Video where I teach children how to deal with stress and anger. Show it to your child. 

Sometimes, you can lose intentionally and show how you accept your failure. It will show your child how failure is also part of a game. So, when they lose any match or competition, they will accept it without much drama. 

2. Learning Empathy

Children who are not taught about accepting failure as a part of life often see everything as a competition. They think themselves superior to others after winning a game and feel like losers when they cannot get their desired position. 

On the other hand, kids who have lost in games before empathize with those who lose. They understand how all participants in a match try their best to win. So they become much more humble. This improves their social and emotional habits.

3. Learning from Mistakes

If you do not let your children lose, they will never know what it takes to win. When children fail in a game or sport, encourage them to try again. Then they will try to find out why they could not win. 

Eventually, children realize their mistakes. They learn skills and strategies to win next time. Learning to accept failure trains children to create a mindset of self-development. So, parents should also understand that losing is sometimes good for their children. 

4. Self-confidence

When children lose, they focus on improving their skills. Losing turns out to be beneficial for them as they set goals to learn new skills because of that. 

With practice, children become more confident in their skills. So, they will give their best effort in games and sports. 

5. Self-control

From an early age, children should know that getting everything they want in life is not always possible. 

Losing in games and sports can teach them that. It also teaches them to accept the truth and act maturely in front of others. 

How to Teach Children to Lose with Dignity

No parents want to see their precious child upset. But now that you have seen the advantages of losing, you should teach your children to accept it with dignity. 

Here are some ways you can teach your children to accept failure: 

1. Teach Your Children about Losing from an Early Age

When your child is old enough to understand the concept of success and failure, it is time to give them some life lessons. 

Of course, you should be gentle about it. Children have fragile minds, and you have to teach them playfully.

2. Do not Let Them Win All The Time

Next time, when you play, do not let your child win. See how they handle the first taste of failure. Then explain gently why sometimes losing is normal for everyone. 

Experiencing failure at home with competing parents is a lot easier than facing it at school. Prepare them to face future challenges by making games and sports challenging at home.

3. Acknowledge Their Feelings

Your child will not be so happy to lose. Even adults struggle to accept failures. So, when your child shows frustration over losing a game, help them cope with it. Tell them that their feelings are valid, and they can be sad about losing a game. 

Do not console them by saying it is just a game. What is silly to adults is not the same for children. If your child gets angry, try to calm them and explain that it is okay to feel sad but not to blame others for failure. 

4. Encourage them to practice 

When your child feels down after losing, the best thing you can do is encourage them to try harder. 

Help them learn new skills and tell them how important it is to practice every day. Teach your children the value of hard work. 

5. Winning is not All That Matters

Some parents try to create a winning mindset in their children. They show disappointment when their children do not get the trophy. It can scar the fragile mind of a child. Do not be such a parent. 

Instead, tell your children that not everyone needs a trophy. The most important thing is participating in games, sports, or any activities they enjoy. 


So, why should children learn to lose? As you can see, losing is as essential in human life as winning. It shows children how important it is to work hard for things they want. Losing also teaches that people do not always get everything in life and it is okay to accept defeat. 

So, it is essential that you teach your child how to cope with failure.

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